CAMP FLORENDO, La
Union –Poll violence is rising in the
Ilocos but Ilocos police director Chief Supt. Franklyn Jesus Bucayu said
these are “areas of concern” and not “high risk” as earlier reported.
Last week, Interior
and Local government Sec. Manuel Roxas announced that the provinces of La
Union, Ilocos Sur and Pangasinan and 12 other provinces, tagged as “high risk
areas” in the May 13 polls, were being closely monitored by the Philippine
In a command
conference here Tuesday, Bucayu, noted the intense situation in Tubao town
where at least five people have already been killed recently which reports
earlier linked to politics.
Bucayu earlier said
there were no violent incidents related to politics in the region “but we are
now closely monitoring the other areas to prevent untoward incidents the coming
He said they formed a
special task force and deployed additional policemen to prevent
politically-related violence and trouble that maybe carried out by other
ordered the relief of chief of police of Tubao police station in La Union due
to unsolved shooting incidents, the latest of which were the killings of a
lawyer and a barangay official.
Irked by the
incidents, Bucayu relieved Senior Insp. Luis C. Liban, Tubao
police chief due to crime including the failed ambush of Tubao mayor Dante
Prior to the
implementation of the total gun ban in January 2013, police officials here
agreed they would recommend to the national headquarters the early suspension
of permits to carry firearms in Tubao town and probably in the entire second
district of La Union to prevent violence in next year’s midterm polls.
“In fact, members of
civil society groups in La Union held a rally last week in Freedom Park, Agoo
town to denounce the incidents and call for peace and justice for the
victim’s families,” said Supt. Julius Suriben, deputy regional intelligence officer.
La Union provincial
police chief Senior Supt. Ramon O. Purugganan said peace and order situation in
Tubao necessitates change for new police leadership.
Senior Insp. BenignoSumawang as officer in charge of Tubao PNP station.
Mayor Dante Garcia was
ambushed but was unharmed by still unknown suspects.
Rodolfo Estoque, a
barangay kagawad was shot to death while Lazaro Gayo, a former vice mayor and
an aspiring candidate for Sangguniang Panlalawigan was also gunned down.
Garcia has reportedly
endorsed his nephew to replace him leaving behind his unnamed brother who is
reportedly aspiring to run for mayor.
In Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, provincial police
alsao took exception to reports on the supposed inclusion of the province in
the list of 15 high-risk areas in next year’s elections.
Senior Supt. Noel Amoyen, provincial police
director, said there have been no politically related crimes in the province
for a long time.
He dismissed the poll hotspot tag as
“speculation,” saying though it would keep local policemen more alert and
dedicated in their work.
Province -- More than a thousand
villagers from the northern tribes of Sagada namely Bangaan, Pide,
Aguid, Madongo, Fidelisan and Tanulong joined by residents of Sagada Poblacion
trooped from sitio Nangonogan to the municipal grounds of this tourist town
to condemn the gruesome murder of Elmo Panoyo, resident of Barangay Bangaan.
Saturnino Elmo Panoyo was shot to death by an unidentified killer along
the Besao-Sagada Road on Oct. 30.
The assailant hired
Panoyo’s jeep from Bangaan to Besao. Panoyo was pronounced dead on arrival at
Besao District Hospital on same day at 6:30 pm.
In said march-rally
held Nov. 21, Mayor Eduardo Latawan appealed for justice for Panoyo and for
peace to reign in the town.
An unfortunate reason
for people to come together, Vice Mayor Richard Yodong nevertheless said the
crime has to be resolved and updated the audience that a P50,000 award was
allotted by the Sangguniang Bayan to anyone who can pinpoint the identity
of the killer.
Sagada chief of police
Kristine Gamboa urged everyone who has knowledge and information on the crime
to visit the police station and forward their statement as the case shall not
prosper without any witness and the public’s cooperation.
SPO4 Elmer Payocong
said the PNP Besao is doing their investigation to hasten the
resolution of the case.
Barangay leaders of
northern Sagada forwarded their concern to the family, relatives and tribe of
another member of a cultural community who got married to them. Elmo Panoyo is
from KapanganBenguet whose family migrated to Nueva Vizcaya.
Indigenous Peoples representative to the Sanggunian Jaime Dugao called on all
those who know anything about the crime to tell what they know to the police.
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – The elections are
still about six months away but the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) here
seemed to have lost the race for this province’s lone congressional district
This, after the certificate of candidacy
(COC) of Gov. Luisa Cuaresma has been “deemed not filed” by the Commission on
Elections which said that she failed to have her signature in the logbook of
the Comelec provincial office when she filed her COC.
Cuaresma said she would exhaust all legal
remedies to contest the denial of her candidacy even as her camp has yet to
receive an official copy of the decision.
“Amid the crisis now besetting my candidacy,
I reiterate my strong desire to serve as your representative in Congress. We
assure you that this humble representation will not stop at anything in serving
you to the best of her ability,” she said in a statement.
Now on her third and final gubernatorial
term, Cuaresma is also bidding to become the province’s first congresswoman.
She is up against long-time Rep. Carlos Padilla of the Nacionalista Party.
The official campaign has yet to start about
three months from now, Cuaresma said, “but our battle has just begun. We will
fight to the end fair and square. You have asked us to run, and I am now
running, you have asked us to win and we will win.”
Cuaresma rushed to the Comelec office here
last Oct. 3 after aides notified her that she needed to be there since the
authorization letter she gave to them for filing her COC was not notarized, a
violation of Section 3 of the poll body’s Memorandum 9518.
“Her personal presence at the Comelec office
was not duly noted in the logbook, however. But (the provincial election
supervisor) had said he was willing to testify that the governor was personally
present there when she finalized her filing of candidacy,” said partymate Vice
Gov. Jose Gambito, her anointed successor to the governorship.
Other candidates also attested that they were
not made to sign a logbook which was the reason the Comelec nullified
“I was the last one to file my certificate of
candidacy but nobody told me to sign a logbook, not even during my earlier
candidacies. What they showed was a list being signed by Comelec personnel of
those who already filed their candidacy,” said re-electionist board member Theo
Another re-electionist board member, Filma Dulay,
also attested that she was not made to sign any logbook. “What I remember is
that the Comelec personnel were the ones writing down our names in a notebook,”
According to lawyers here, Cuaresma’s
candidacy being “deemed not filed” meant that UNA could not file a substitute
candidate for her, as there no candidacy filed. If Cuaresma was disqualified,
UNA could name a substitute.
The Comelec order was signed by Chairman
SixtoBrilliantes and five of the six commissioners.
Commissioner Grace Padaca, who hails from
this region, failed to have her signature affixed in the order, as she was
reportedly on “official business.”
ILAGAN CITY – Police
are readying multiple murder and frustrated murder charges against New People’s
Army rebels for the death of seven soldiers and wounding of nine others during
the Nov. 18 ambush in Barangay Mabbayad, Echague, Isabela.
Senior Supt. Franklin
Mabanag, Isabela police director, said among those to be charged are a certain
Ka MJ, spokesman of the NPA’s Benito Tesorio Command, which owned up to the
ambush, and Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison.
Mabanag said they are
also looking for evidence to link officials of the Mabuwaya Foundation, a
crocodile conservation foundation based in the Sierra Madre mountain range.
The group allegedly
harbored foreigners seen with the guerrillas before the ambush.
deputy director of the Mabuwaya Foundation, however, said they have nothing to
do with the foreigners seen with insurgents.
She said they have foreigners
doing crocodile research but not in the area where the encounter occurred.
The Isabela-based 5th
Infantry Division confirmed the presence of three female foreigners along with
some 30 NPA guerrillas, who were involved in the five-hour clash with soldiers.
“There are photographs
showing them with the lawless armed group,” said Col. Loreto Magundayao, chief
of the 5th ID’s civilian-military operations battalion.
details about the foreigners’ identity, group and activities remain unavailable.
“We are still investigating why they were there,” he said.
“We will also be
filing charges against (these foreigners) if they are proven to have
participated in the firefight,” he added.
DAGUPAN CITY – A P400,000 reward is being offered for the arrest of the robbers
behind the P10-million heist at the BHF Gemline Pawnshop here last Nov. 10.
Supt. Romeo Caramat
Jr., city police chief, told media here Tuesday the reward was jointly put up
by Mayor Benjamin Lim and the pawnshop’s owner.
Caramat said a member
of the “Martilyo Gang” behind mall robberies in Metro Manila could be part of
the group that broke into the pawnshop, as hammers were used to shatter the
glass cabinet containing the pieces of jewelry.
BANTAY, Ilocos Sur – A second attempt on the
life of a 71-year-old government retiree from Ilocos Sur succeeded after he was
gunned down by motorcycle-riding men here Tuesday.
Police said the victim, Jaime Bueza, a former
member of the Joint Legislative-Executive Tax Commission, and his wife were on
their way home after attending an affair at St. Paul College here when they
Bueza’s wife survived the attack.
Police said Bueza survived a similar attempt
on his life in the same place in Barangay Paing in January 2011.
He sustained several bullet wounds but his
19-year-old granddaughter Alyza Marie Soria, a student St. Paul College, was
Two suspects have been charged in the first
attack, a certain Jerry Corpuz and Pablito Busto, but both are still at large.
Politics is seen as one of the possible
motives in the attacks against Bueza, although police said these could be
linked to a supposed shooting incident involving him.
The Department of the Interior and Local
Government has placed Ilocos Sur in its watch list of 15 provinces where
violence could occur in the run-up to the 2013 midterm polls.
CITY –Here’s fair warning to wayward drivers and motorists! The city government
will now strictly enforce traffic rules even as it denied requests for
exemptions to the number coding policy and proposals for additional loading
the Transport and Traffic Management Committee meeting last week, Mayor
Mauricio Domogan said council ordinances on traffic should be followed.
about parking, loading, unloading and staging areas of buses, jeepneys, van,
delivery trucks and motorcycle services were tackled with representatives of
non-parking policy in selected roadsides shall be enforced, the mayor said, as
with the specific loading and unloading areas of some jeepney trunklines along
their official routes.
Utility Jeepneys should follow their designated routes, and odd-even schemes as
imposed by the city and their own organizations, it was learned.
loading and unloading were also tackled as some out-of-town Public Utility
Jeepney (PUJs) and van services requested for areas for their use.
was denied as their franchise stated their route was outside of Baguio City.
public utility vehicles with the proper franchises were also advised to acquire
pay parking areas within the city for their vehicles, the committee decided.
motorcycle and van services requesting exemption from the number coding scheme
were also denied.
despite one company having several vehicles’ license plates ending in same
numbers thus being grounded, all on the same day.
concerned entities were either advised to use alternative routes or pay the
passage fee for their vehicle.
creation of a Traffic and Transport Management Office was also tackled, as the
initiative was broached during the “Visioning Workshop for Sustainable and Low
Emissions Transport,” last month.
from public and non-government offices were supportive of the idea, it was
said move is to rationalize transport and traffic flow, for the reduction of
congestion, emission and energy use from the transport sector in the city.
however reminded the body that the creation of an office entails funds.
shall be given to this next budgeting time, the mayor told the group.
for parking slots along Harrison road were also looked into.
for allowed slots were done, while the results of the re-measurement of some
big parking lots are being awaited.
from the Planning Office, Traffic Management Board of the Baguio City Police
Office, City Legal Office, Land Transportation Office, jeepney and van association
services attended the meeting.
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – A
barangay councilman in Bacnotan town was gunned down on Tuesday afternoon by
motorcycle-riding men while seated at a waiting shed along the Diversion Road
in Barangay Bangcusay here.
Senior Supt. Ramon Purugganan, La
Union police director, said Carlos Balanon, 51, councilman of Barangay Burayuc,
Bacnotan town, died on the spot from a bullet wound in the forehead from a
SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga
– This province’s police director said Wednesday he has never recommended the
inclusion of Pampanga as a “hotspot” in the 2013 elections.
Superintendent R’win Pagkalinawan
was reacting to reports that Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas
had cited the province as one of 15 poll hotspots in the country.
“I did not submit any
recommendation to the Department of the Interior and Local Government for the
declaration of Pampanga as high-risk area or be included (among) the election
hotspots in the 2013 elections,” Pagkalinawan said in a radio interview.
He said there was no
reason for such a move, adding that the crime rate in the province under the
administration of Gov. Lilia Pineda has decreased.
that from an average of 500 crime incidents monthly, the number has gone down
He said only Arayat
town could be considered an election hotspot, as recent killings there appeared
to be politically motivated.
Other areas cited as
poll hotspots were Nueva Ecija, Abra, Pangasinan, Cagayan, La Union, Ilocos
Sur, Batangas, Cavite, Masbate, Samar, Misamis Occidental, Maguindanao,
Lanao del Sur, and Basilan.
In a recent meeting of
the Central Luzon Peace and Order Council, Roxas, accompanied by Liberal Party
gubernatorial candidate Eddie Panlilio and in the presence of Pineda and other
governors in the region, ordered Pagkalinawan to stop jueteng operations in
that the illegal numbers game existed in Pampanga, saying the legal small town
lottery could have been mistaken for jueteng.
BANGUED, Abra -- The
Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC), first piloted in the
2010 polls, has been activated anew in this province.
The JPSCC was
resurrected to map out plans for the Abra Week for Peace 2012 next month and
the May 2013 elections.
Presided by Abra
police director Senior Supt. Alexander Rafael, the council will draw up a
plan of action to be implemented immediately to establish two more Police
Assistance Centers (Compacts), the deployment of their officers and men to
provide security in the conduct of the Abra Week for Peace on December 3 – 7,
and to improve the conduct of mobile checkpoints and police visibility in the
The plan is intended
to mitigate situations that may arise in the perennially violence-troubled
The JPSCC will be
establishing a Compact in Aguibo, Malibcong purportedly to secure the
provincial road to remote Malibcong and the Abra-Kalinga Road and help the
commuters in the area and those going to Kalinga, and another in the area of
Danglas and La Paz to secure the Abra-Ilocos Norte Road.
The JPSCC formed
during the 2010 elections, said Army Col. Eliseo Posadas, commanding officer of
the 503rd Infantry Brigade, showed the effectiveness of the partnership
of the PNP and the AFP in addressing the complex problems in Abra ---
insurgency, the private armed-groups (PAGs), criminality
particularly murder cases, and violations of the Presidential Decree 705 or
In 2010, the province
saw a diminished number of election-related violence.
BADO DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Cops
arrested three more wanted persons in the region last week.
Supt. Benjamin B. Magalong, regional police director, said combined law
enforcers arrested the top 1 and 3 most wanted persons in the municipal level
and another wanted person.
La Trinidad police arrested the No. 3 top most
wanted person for municipal level at Kings College of the Philippines here in
Barangay Central Pico.
identified the suspect as John Dave Layosan Mangadchil, 20, Criminology student
was arrested for robbery with
violence and intimidation of persons.
had a recommended bail bond of P100,000 which was issued Sept. 21by Judge
Marybelle Demot Mariñas, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court of
Branch 8 in La Trinidad, Benguet.
was detained at the La Trinidad District Jail.
another incident, Tinoc, Ifugao police led by PI Rodolfo Fateg arrested Rey
TiyapDukis, 22 of Luhong, Tinoc after a warrant was issued for his arrest by
Judge Joseph P. Baguilat, presiding RTC judge in Lagawe, Ifugao for robbery and
recommended a P24,000 and P40,00000,
respectively for his temporary liberty.
Abra, Lagangilang town police led by SPO4 Felix EjadaAtmosfera, arrested a
46-year-old farmer for estafa on Nov. 13 at Nagbalitangan, Bucay, Abra.
identified the arrested individual as Pedro Baula, a resident of Barangay Pawa,
Redentor Valera, presiding judge of the Municipal Trial Court in, Lagangilang,
recommended bond of
for his release.
His arrest led to solution of the case filed
by a certain Pacita Esalona Molina.
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad,
Benguet– A 26-year old farmer wanted for three counts of murder, two counts of
frustrated murder, and attempted murder was arrested by Tineg town cops
following warrants of arrest issued against him.
Chief Supt. Benjamin B. Magalong,
regional police director, identified the wanted individual as Bastian
Mablay Benwagen, of Barangay Naglibacan, Tineg, who was arrested Nov. 14 at
Sitio Vira Barangay Alaoa in this town.
Police led by Insp. Jaime K
Bang-I informed Benwagen of arrest warrants issued against him by judges Corpus
Alzate and Raphiel Alzate of the Regional Trial Court in Bangued, Abra.
According to Magalong, the series
of crimes committed by Benwagen were unbailable which led to his detention at
the Abra provincial jail.
He said the arrest of Benwagen
was possible through the mediation of Mayor Edwin Crisologo of Tineg.
BONTOC, Mountain Province –Senior Insp.
Benjamin Falangon Challoy was installed Nov. 16 as chief of police of this
capital town on order of provincial
police director Senior Supt.William W. Viteno.
Challoy was awarded the
“Medalyang Papuring Paglilingkod sa Luzon” in July 6, 2011.
Challoy is a native of this town graduated
B.S Criminology at the University of Cordilleras in 1997. Upon graduation, he attended military
trainings and seminars and had taken civil service eligibility tests for future
Records from his personal data sheet, said he
attained the rank of Police Inspector in 1998 and was promoted as PO2 in 2005
then later in 2008, he was promoted as PO3.
his assumption as a police officer, he had served the people of his hometown.
He was also detailed at the Philippine
National Police regional Office.
In 2009, he left Bontoc and was assigned at
Kalinga Police Provincial Office as police inspector.
After his short stay, he was transferred to
Pasil Municipal Police Station, then back to Mountain Province Police
He later served as police inspector of
Paracelis Municipal Police Station in the province.
He was Barlig town police chief before he was
appointed to head Bontoc police.
While working as police officer, he attended
military trainings and seminars and took other career courses that paved way
for his instant promotions.
Challoy is one among five police officers
recommended and duly confirmed by the National Police Commission for Mayor
PascualSacgaca to choose from since it was made known that Chief Insp. Dyann B.
Bangcawayan, former Bontoc police chief will be transferred somewhere in the
Bangcawayan was not retained as Bontoc police
chief since she was overqualified for the position.
Though Bontoc is classified as second class
municipality based on income, it has only less than 25,000 population that
makes it Type “C” municipal police station requiring a chief of police of Type
“C” MPS who should hold rank of senior inspector.
Meanwhile, Challoy was the fifth person and
the youngest installed COP of Bontoc during the term of Sacgaca.
The mayor had chosen Challoy as COP because
he believed in his ability to serve the people in his own hometown. -- Wabilyn
BONTOC, Mountain Province – Construction of
roads to tourist sites in western Mountain Province which would link Ilocos
Region are set to boost and tourism and economic activities in the
A team from the Dept. of Tourism, National
Economic and Development Authority of the Cordillera Administrative Region and
the provincial Dept. of Public Works and Highways inspected and validated seven
road networks that were proposed for funding in 2013 and 2014 by the DOT
through DPWH on Nov. 19-22.
The team was composed of Sylvia Chinayog of
DOT, Jerome Agaloos Sr. of NEDA and Roland Matias of DPWH.
They were assisted by staff of the Provincial
Engineer and Provincial Tourism Office.
This is in consonance with the vision of
President Benigno Aquino and implementation of Republic Act 9593, known as Tourism Act of 2009 to boost
tourism development nationwide.
The tourism roads are under the DOT-DPWH
convergence project of the tourism access program.
These are: Sagada-Besao-Tadian,
Sabangan-Sagada, Mabaay-Abatan-Tadian, Guinzadan-Cagubatan, Bontoc-Mainit,
Bontoc-Maligcong and Dantay-Sagada.
In Cagubatan, Tadian mayor Anthony Wooden
discussed and showed the team some of the tourist destinations such as the
enchanted eel, Gawaan lake, which is about 1.5 ha., Mount Mogao (Mt. Clitoris)
that is believed to have a cave below it and rice terraces.
Besao mayor Wellington Pooten and vice Harry
Baliaga were thankful of the proposed concreting of the Sagada-Besao-Tadian
road because of its great impact on tourism and economic development of the
people of Besao and its nearby municipalities and parts of Ilocos
Mayor EdwardoLatawan of Sagada appreciated
the national government particularly DOT for its continuing support to the
development of the famous tourist town of Sagada.
On the other hand vice mayor Richard Yodong
accompanied the team to the proposed “controversial” Sabanga-Sagada road.
Yodong related to the team the need of more
funds because the proposed road needs bridge construction between barangay
Taccong and the road end to other side near the Balangagan cave.
Mountain Province governor Leonard Mayaen
conveyed his gratitude to the regional directors and secretaries of DOT, NEDA
and DPWH for prioritizing development of
roads to several tourist destinations in Mountain Province.
Mayaen said the development being extended by
the national government will propel economic development in the province
especially that tourism is booming in the rural areas, not only nationwide but
worldwide as well.
LAOAG CITY– A
P2.6-billion solar power plant will be constructed here by a Korean developer
The Ilocos Norte
government has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Mirae Asia
Energy Corp. (MAEC) last year for the establishment of a 20-megawatt
photovoltaic power plant in Currimao town.
Gov. Imee Marcos and
MAEC officials led by its chief executive officer Bae Jong Soo presided over
the groundbreaking ceremony for the project in Barangay Paguludan
Lito Badua, MAEC vice
president for engineering in Asia, said the plant would be built on sand
dunes and cover an area of 60 hectares.
Badua said the solar
plant would generate 30 million kilowatts of electricity per hour.
“It’s clean. There’s
no emission at all and since we’re not using fuel, it’s relatively cheap,” he
Marcos is upbeat that
the project, apart from generating employment for her constituents, will boost
local tourism and usher in business activities and economic benefits for the
Ilocos Norte is not
new to the use of renewable energy which began in the 1980s when Pagudpud town
established the five-megawatt Agua Grande mini-hydro power plant.
In 2005, former
governor Ferdinand Marcos Jr. put up 25-megawatt energy wind turbines or
windmills in Bangui town.
The Currimao solar
power plant is expected be completed on May 14, 2014.
LAMUT, Ifugao -- The second Special Education
Fund (SEF) supplemental budget was approved recently to improve education
Officials of the provincial
school board (PSB) led by Gov. Eugene Balitang unanimously approved the
P19,562,186.43 SEF during a meeting of the PSB.
The amount was constituted from the one
percent additional real property tax paid by SN/Aboitiz Power (SNAP) Inc. to
the provincial government after the court ruled last July on the basis of
agreement entered into between and among the provincial local government unit
of Ifugao and Isabela.
Furthermore, the approved amount will cover
the Department of Education (DepEd) programs and activities, infrastructure
projects and other expenditures in pursuit of quality education.
Infrastructure component will focus on the
repairs and improvement of different schools facilities provincewide.
Earlier, the PSB had approved the amount of
P6.752-million as SEF annual budget for the salaries and wages of mobile
teachers from January to March and July to December 2012 and for the Cordillera
Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) meet.
TABUK, CITY, Kalinga – Two of the 11 bridge
projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways Kalinga Engineering District
this year were completed while others are being constructed.
Based on the report gathered from DPWH-KED
Construction Section, completed were replacement of the P14.49 million Maatop
Bridge along the Kalinga-Abra Road and the replacement of the P9 million Mamaga
Bridge along the Mt. Province boundary-Calanan-Pinukpuk- Abbut road.
As of press time, reported as 98 percent
completed were replacements of the Gadday Bridge (P12.6M), Saleng Bridge
(P9.14M), Matacob Bridge (P17.28M), and the Oling Bridge (P17.55M).
Other on-going bridges include the Limood
Bridge amounting to P11.79M, Ibong Bridge(P17.55M), Malcagao Bridge(P14.89M),
and the Biyao Bridge(P20.21M), all located along the Kalinga –Abra Road.
The contract for the bridge in Ableg,
Pasil worth P8.46M was terminated by the agency. Sources also say there
is a pending issue on road right of way with land owners.
Engineer Teodoro Owek of DPWH-KED, Construction Section
Chief, said most of the projects started January this year and targeted to
be finished before the year ends. However, some may not be completed on
time as some contractors have requested for
extension which were filed for approval by the agency.
Through the initiative of Congressman Manuel
Agyao, DPWH-KED has received at least P1 billion for the construction of
roads and bridges in the province this year.
BAGUIO CITY -- The PhilHealth Regional Office
– Cordillera reported a surplus in members benefit payments over their
collection for the first three quarters of 2012.
PhRO-CAR Chief Social Insurance Officer
Catalina Adawey, in a recent media forum, reported that as of September 30,
2012, the office has a total benefit payments of P777,865,031.58 for their
members all over the region against their collection of P399,268,127.53.
Adawey said this shows that with PhilHealth
president and CEO Dr. Eduardo Banzon’s leadership, the members’ health care are
their priorities as embodied in their slogan, “Bawat Pilipino Miyembro, Bawat Miyembro
Protektado, Kalusugan natin sigurado”.
PhRO-CAR now has a total membership of 516,452 where 56,802 are government
employees,119,144 are private sector workers, 113,388 are Individually Paying
Members, 153,805 are sponsored members, 58,725 are Overseas Filipino Workers
and 14,588 are Lifetime members.
As PhilHealth is gearing towards Universal
Health Coverage new and more enhanced health benefit packages are continuously
being given to its 29 million family members, which is equivalent to about 82
million individual beneficiaries or around 86 percent of the country’s
Adawey shared that under Banzon, PhilHealth
has rolled-out the case rate system, initially to 23 medical and surgical cases
and the No Balance Billing for their sponsored members when hospitalized in
PhilHealth- beds in all government hospitals.
There is also the Animal Bite Treatment
Package which defrays the cost of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment and
the Leptospirosis Benefit Package for moderate leptospirosis that is requiring
admission with a case rate payment of P11,000.
In the middle of this year, Banzon with
President Benigno Aquino III and Health Secretary Enrique Ona launched the ‘Z
benefit’, the newest package of benefits that primarily address catasthropic
cases, which initially include Childhood Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, breast and
prostate cancer and kidney transplant. Adawey also shared that cardiac bypass
and prosthesis are also set to be included in the Z package.
To ensure that government health care
facilities are fully equipped to provide the best health care services to
PhilHealth members, they have operationalize the Global Budget Payment Program
“These are just among the new and enhanced
packages that PhilHealth has for its members and to ensure that members can properly
avail of such benefits, there are also nurses hired and assigned in various
hospitals nationwide under the PhilHealth CARES (Customer Assistance, Relations
and Empowerment Staff) project to assist them”, Adawey added.
ECHAGUE, Isabela – Authorities are still
trying to identity three foreigners
reportedly seen with New People’s Army rebels in the Nov. 17 clash with
government troops in a remote village here
which left seven soldiers and five guerrillas dead.
Sources said civilians saw two Caucasians
tagging along with some 30 rebels during the five-hour running gun battle with
elements of the Army’s 502nd Infantry Brigade in Mabbayad village.
On Tuesday, source
said the three foreigners reportedly seen with communist rebels during the
clash were Dutch students.
The Dutch women were
said to be conducting a study on the crocodile conservation efforts of the
Isabela-based Mabuwaya Foundation.
The source said one of
the foreigners was among the 12 fatalities in the five-hour encounter between
the rebels and members of the Reconnaissance Company of the Army’s 502nd
Infantry Brigade (IB) in Echague’s Mabbayad village.
Mabuwaya, which is
affiliated with the World Wildlife Fund, is a non-government group working for
the conservation of the Philippine crocodiles.
The foundation has a
crocodile breeding center in San Mariano town, and a crocodile sanctuary in the
wilds of the San Mariano-Divilacan area.
Marites Gatan-Balabas, deputy director of the Mabuwaya Foundation, denied having
foreigners in their group. “Aside from that, our students are in
Maconacon and Divilacan (Isabela coastal towns),” she said.
“We receive reports
about the presence of foreigners tagging along with the rebels during the
encounter. But we could not ascertain if they were indeed with the lawless
group or just happened to be there,” Col. Loreto Magundayao, spokesman
for the Gamu, Isabela-based Army’s 5th Infantry Division, which has
jurisdiction over the 502nd IB, said.
“Maybe they were there
not necessarily with the lawless group. Maybe they just happened to be there
when the encounter occurred,” said Magundayao.
according to reports, is still investigating this, especially since one of the
foreigners was said to be among the fatalities in the clash, which erupted at
around 4:30 a.m. at the boundary of Echague and San Mariano towns.
The seven soldiers
slain in the encounter were identified as 2Lt. Jimnah Torrepalma, Sgt. Eduardo
Arguero, Cpl. Jondy Larebersole, and Pfcs. Joemar Miguel, Jerold Mina, Albert
Lagua, and Raul Alunday.
Magundayao, chief of the 5th Infantry Division’s civil-military operations
battalion, said six of the soldiers were killed on the spot while Alunday died
while being treated at a military hospital
Seven other soldiers,
among them Pfc. Robert Samut, are still undergoing treatment for gunshot
All of them belong to
the 502nd Infantry Brigade’s Reconnaissance Company based in Isabela’s Jones
town, which is under the jurisdiction of the 5th ID.
According to reports,
at least five NPA rebels were killed and at least eight others were wounded in
The Army said the
figures were based on field reports, as no bodies of the slain guerrillas were
“The encounter took
place while our troops were conducting security operations to ensure the safe
implementation of all impending national government projects in the area. They
were fired upon by the lawless group,” Magundayao said.
earlier had engaged in pre-dawn skirmishes with the insurgents along the
foothills of the Sierra Madre ranges.
The rebels, believed
to belong to the NPA’s Benito Tesorio Command based here, alleged that they
seized three machine guns, four M-16 Armalite rifles, and an M-16 baby Armalite
from the government side.
The encounter was the
worst setback for the Army in Northern Luzon since last April’s ambush-slay by
NPA guerrillas of 11 members of the 85th Infantry Battalion in Tinoc, Ifugao. A
female civilian was also slain in the attack.